F1 teams want to agree tyre approach with Pirelli
Formula 1 teams think it essential they agree an action plan with Pirelli to deliver tyres that the whole sport will be happy with, now it is set to land the 2017 tyre contract.
Bernie Ecclestone revealed before the Russian Grand Prix that he had agreed commercial terms with Pirelli for it to remain F1's tyre supplier from 2017-2019, albeit the move still needs to be approved by the FIA's World Motor Sport Council.
But with that green light expected to be a formality, teams say the time is right to sit down with Pirelli and agree on an approach to F1 that works for everyone.
Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff said: “At least we know early enough who the tyre partner is going to be.
“Now it is about developing new regulations for 2017, making the cars go quicker and obviously the tyre is a crucial ingredient in making that happen. We know the guys, have been with them for a long time, so let's make the most out of it.”
Wolff acknowledges that tyre suppliers often have a hard time getting appreciated for their efforts.
That is why he thinks sitting down with Pirelli to talk about how best to approach things in the future would be good for them and good for teams.
“I think as a tyre supplier you can only get it wrong,” he said. “Whatever you do you get criticised.
“If you are producing a tyre that is spectacular and drops off, the driver will moan about it dropping off too quickly. Make it rock solid, and some of the boys have been asking for a tyre like in Le Mans, and they do triple stints there.
“It is a tricky challenge for them to make a product that suits everybody. I think now with the new contract we have to just sit down and agree on the specification of the tyre based on the learning curve we had over the last spell.”
Ferrari team principal Maurizio Arrivabene had an exchange of views with Pirelli after the Belgian Grand Prix, but thinks there is now scope for closer relations to help improve things.
“We had an exchange of different opinions after Spa,” he said. “So if they are going to be the tyre supplier we must work together with them to help in terms of performance and safety and so on.
“The last meeting we had in Monza, [Marco] Tronchetti Provera assigned a person, [Mario] Isola, and now we have a reference with our driver, with our technical engineer. They are talking directly with him.
“They are also looking forward like all of us for 2017 about how to make F1 more interesting and more spectacular. Bernie took his position because he evaluated all what they are promising is going to take place.”
Nico Rosberg believes that fans should also be consulted on what they want to see from tyres – to ensure that 2017 and beyond delivers something that people want to tune in and watch.
“We need to make sure that the fans love the sport – that is what we need to be sure of,” he explained.
“Therefore we need to discuss what they are looking for going forward. 2017 is the opportunity to make a change if it is necessary, and that is what is being worked on at the moment with a big effort.”
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